September 10, 2013 12:00AM
The Pittsburg State University Department of Nursing is now the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing. PSU officials revealed the name change Tuesday at a ceremony in which they recognized Dr. Fay Bradley for a gift of $1 million to the program. The new name honors Dr. Bradley’s mother.
University officials also noted the elevation of the department to the rank of a school within the university, in recognition of the nursing program’s growing size and complexity.
PSU President Steve Scott said that Tuesday’s announcement was a reminder of the roles families play in the life of the university.
“I always describe our alumni as family,” Scott said. “Family is a powerful word. It evokes memories in each of us...Family is what brings us here today. We are here to celebrate the love and sacrifice of a mother for her family.”
The president described the life of Irene Ransom Bradley, who was born in Texas and moved to Independence, Kan., in 1919. There she met and married Henry Bradley and worked as a domestic in a private home earning just $3.50 a week.
Neither Irene or Henry finished high school, but they believed in education and made sure their six children got their high school diplomas. Four of the six children earned college degrees and Fay went on to earn professional degrees in both law and medicine.
“Irene loved her family, so much so that she would often go without, in order to make certain her children had everything they needed to succeed,” Scott said.
Scott said Irene wanted to be a nurse and often talked about going back to school once the children were grown. Unfortunately, she was never in a position to fulfill that dream and she died in 1996 at the age of 90.
Dr. Fay Bradley is a retired physician who now lives in Independence, Kan. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology from PSU in 1960.
Bradley came to PSU on a track scholarship, competing in the high hurdles, quarter-mile and mile relay. After graduating from PSU, he served in the Army as a medical lab technician. He went on to earn both a law degree and a medical degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Upon earning his medical degree, Bradley began a long career as a physician, serving with the United States Public Health Service until his retirement in 1992.
Throughout his life, Dr. Bradley has maintained his love of running and has been a passionate advocate for running and physical fitness. He is a former president of the board of directors of the American Running and Fitness Association and in 1998 was selected as the runner of the year for his age group by the USA Track and Field Association. In 2004, he was inducted into the USA Track & Field Association Hall of Fame. At 75, Dr. Bradley continues to run marathons. He hopes to run the London Marathon in the spring of 2014, one of the races still on his “to do” list.
Dr. Bradley received PSU’s Alumni Meritorious Achievement Award in 2009.